Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ben Thayer, co-founder of Ben and Pat's Sauce Co., located in Reading, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Our company’s mission is to create fun, unique, and great-tasting banana pepper condiments using simple, natural ingredients. Our customers love banana peppers and hot sauce and prefer products with healthy, natural ingredients.

Tell us about yourself

Pat and I were basketball teammates at Bates College. I graduated in 2009 and Pat in 2008. We subsequently lived together in Washington DC and made a habit of consuming bacon and banana pepper pizza on Friday nights. One of those nights, we stumbled into a conversation about the fact that neither of us had ever seen a banana pepper sauce of any kind. So, we started scouring both the internet and retail stores to locate one, but to our surprise, we couldn’t find anything. The idea never totally left us, but it wasn’t until 2018 - at which point we were both growing tired of our corporate jobs – that we decided to go ahead and find a co-packer that would enable us to potentially turn the idea of banana pepper sauce into a business. The process of cost-effective sourcing and producing a product where a supply chain isn’t yet established proved to be more challenging than we anticipated, but by late 2020 (after several iterations), we were ready to go all in.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

To reference Tom Brady’s philosophy on winning Super Bowls, I would say “the next one.” We are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far because none of it has been easy, but we have so far to go. Getting into Whole Foods early was a big milestone and gave us significant credibility. We are also partners with Folds of Honor – an organization that grants scholarships to the families of fallen or permanently disabled Veterans – a portion of proceeds from every bottle purchased goes to FOH. We are very proud to support their cause.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Starting a business, you are constantly running into roadblocks, setbacks, and rejections. It is literally part of the daily routine – and it’s not like we’ve done this before. With that said, we always believe a solution exists and do our best to make the smartest decision with the information at hand.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. If you believe that your business can be successful, just do not stop until it is.
  2. Focus your attention on what is going to grow your business.
  3. Build your network.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We have found it extremely helpful to focus on what we can control and not waste time getting upset about factors that are out of our hands. We've tried to incorporate a Stoic mindset into the business, especially when things aren't going our way- it's a very practical way to deal with challenges.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.